Don’t mention the war

The Japanese internet has been amusing itself lately with these photos of Prince Andrew, the Lord Mayor of London’s wife and some Arab guy apparently bored witless by Xi Jinping’s speech at the London Guildhall*.

Xi Jinping, Prince Andrew

Xi Jinping, Prince Andrew

To be fair, the speech was nearly half an hour long, which is a good strong dose, even for the most consenting of adults. It’s not surprising that at some point both Gillian Yarrow and Air Miles Andy would have let the facade slip a little.

What’s interesting is the spin put on it by the Japanese viral content aggregators at Buzz Media. Translated:

Visiting England, China’s President Xi Jinping addressed both Houses of Parliament for the first time on the 20th. [T.N. This is obviously incorrect, but we’re not looking at Pulitzer-class journalism here.]

He pointed out that both countries had fought against the “Japanese aggression” in World War Two.

Xi’s unrelenting criticism of Japan was not limited to that remark, coming as it did after the formal opening of the banquet during which he once against stressed “Japanese brutality” during the War.

The effect of China’s constantly harping on its anti-Japanese historical viewpoint can be seen in the following photographs…

For those of you who persist in caring about such trifles as facts, Buzz Media has, in fact, confused its speeches. Xi brought up Japan at the Buckingham Palace dinner, which did indeed take place on the 20th. The Guildhall event was on the 22nd. I have no idea whether he also brought it up at the latter dinner. (You surely don’t expect me to actually listen to the thing?)

The Buzz Media piece goes on to tease Xi about his apparent ignorance of the convention that one does not air one’s grievances at mealtimes. It also speculates that the fact that Prince Charles was not present was a subtle snub on the part of the British establishment (unkind wits may well suggest that a far greater snub would have been to oblige Xi to sit next to him, but there…), and quotes a twitter post listing other real or imagined slights towards Xi on the part of the British. Namely: the Queen kept her gloves on to shake hands (she always does this), and that they had him give an interview in front of a poorly screened toilet door (which, admittedly, is pretty funny).

It also compares pictures of the Pope addressing a packed house at the UN and of Xi addressing a large proportion of empty chairs.

*Yes. Guildhalls are a thing that we really have. No dragons, warlocks or dire wolves though, sadly.

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